The Court of Aldermen of the City of London forms with the Common Council the Corporation or governing body of the City. The Lord Mayor is the senior Alderman. The Court consists of 26 members, representing the various Wards into which the City is divided. The number of Aldermen has varied accordingly from time to time with the number of the Wards, as may be seen from the lists of Aldermen and Wards set out in the Letter Books of the City. The Aldermen in early days, as the name denotes, being derived from the O.E. "aldor" = an "elder, chief, prince," were men of note and high standing throughout the kingdom, equal in dignity and importance to the Senators of ancient Rome. Only men of the highest character and capacity could attain to this rank and the veneration in which the office was held in London in early times is emphasised by the fact that the Wards were known originally by the names of the respective Aldermen who presided over them and not by their present topographical designations. This change in designation which took place about th 13th century is indicative of the change which gradually came about in the nature of the office and in the functions to be discharged by the Aldermen. It is not possible within the limits of this work to deal adequately with this subject, nor to furnish lists of the Aldermen of the City, but much valuable information is contained in the admirable history by Mr. Beavan in 2 volumes, entitled the "Aldermen of London." It is not an uncommon occurrence to find the names of Aldermen commemorated in street names in the City, especia]ly in those of later formation, as Alderman's Walk, Skinner Street, etc.

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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